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Pawsitively Cursed: A Witch of Edgehill Mystery, #2

Pawsitively Cursed: A Witch of Edgehill Mystery, #2

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Pawsitively Cursed: A Witch of Edgehill Mystery, #2

ratings:
4/5 (2 ratings)
Length:
366 pages
6 hours
Released:
Sep 10, 2019
ISBN:
9781732413450
Format:
Book

Description

The only thing more twisted than a cursed witch is her family tree.

For the past fourteen years, Edgehill's resident secret witch, Amber Blackwood, has been haunted by her parents' deaths. The whole town knows about the tragedy, but the details remain a mystery even to Amber. From her tiny studio apartment above her shop, The Quirky Whisker, Amber can see her partially rebuilt old house out on the edge of town. Although she now has a good life—delighting children with her magically infused toys, concocting healing tinctures for Edgehill's residents, doting on her cats, Tom and Alley, and sitting on the committee for the town's annual Here and Meow Festival—she feels stuck in the past.

Amber suspects the fire that killed her parents was set deliberately by a witch from the cursed Penhallow clan, from whom no one has heard even a whisper since the night her parents died. The clan's sudden disappearance is no coincidence to Amber, but her aunt Gretchen refuses to believe there's a connection and urges Amber to stop looking for someone to blame. So Amber is shocked when Aunt Gretchen shows up unexpectedly, claiming the Penhallows have resurfaced and that one of them is heading for Edgehill with Amber in his sights. 

Aunt Gretchen knows more about the fabled clan than she's letting on. Amber is determined to find out what her aunt is hiding, and what the Penhallow seeks, before the same treacherous force that took Amber's parents' lives claims her own.

Released:
Sep 10, 2019
ISBN:
9781732413450
Format:
Book

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Pawsitively Cursed - Melissa Erin Jackson

Chapter 1

Get back here! Amber called, crawling on hands and knees after the toy lion that bucked and thrashed under her coffee table like an agitated bull. Every time she reached for it, the little thing jumped away from her on its tiny beige plastic paws. Amber wasn’t quite sure what the little creature was up to—it seemed possessed, if she was quite honest with herself—but whatever it was, it couldn’t be good.

Amber’s specialty was using her magic to animate plastic toys she then sold in her shop below. But every once in a while—like now—one of the toys took on a personality of its own. And it was rarely a pleasant personality.

A low, guttural growl reverberated next to her, and she turned to see her cat, Tom, watching the flailing toy with unmitigated alarm, his pupils blown wide.

At the sound of Tom’s distaste of the situation, the lion stilled, halting its little plastic meltdown, and focused its attention squarely on Tom.

Oh no. Tom Cat, she said, voice low and even, don’t run. If you run, it’ll chase you.

The tiny lion adjusted its posture, its feet solidly on the ground in a wide stance, threw its head back and roared. The sound was loud enough that Amber felt a slight vibration in the floorboards beneath her hands, but it wasn’t a display she would have labeled terrifying or even awe-inspiring. Tom, however, arched his back, tail puffed out, and hissed with a ferocity that even made Amber flinch.

Tom took off in the other direction, nails scrabbling on the wooden floor as he struggled to find purchase to aid in his escape. He didn’t have far to run in Amber’s tiny studio apartment. The lion gave chase. The thing was surprisingly fast—a little too fast. Amber lunged for it as it went tearing past her, but her hands met only air.

Hold still, Tom! she called as she hopped to her feet, not sure where the cat was now. Another roar sounded from beneath the bed, followed by Tom hissing and spitting in response. The dust ruffle flapped as Tom went sprinting from his usual safe space, the tiny lion hot on his tail.

Amber scurried after them, yelling at the lion to stop and for Tom to calm down. They ran under the dining room table, wooden table and chair legs smacking together like discordant wind chimes. Amber darted around one side of the table, then the other, hardly able to keep up. The lion was no bigger than a cell phone and its teeth were made of plastic—they couldn’t do that much damage. But she couldn’t very well explain that to Tom.

Alley sat on the kitchen counter, keeping a reasonable distance while she watched with mild concern, her tail wrapped around her paws.

Are you going to help your brother? Amber asked.

Alley squinted her eyes closed.

Amber dropped to her knees again, just in time to see the lion lunge for Tom’s tail and chomp down on the tip of it. Tom screeched like he was being skinned alive, then bolted out from under the table, the horrible lion holding onto the end of Tom’s tail even as the cat bucked and flailed, trying to dislodge it.

This was even worse than the time Scarlet the dragon had come to life, and then released a ball of flame that melted her own body just before that same flame set the curtains on fire. The dragon had terrified Tom, but hadn’t gone after him directly, at least.

This lion had pegged Tom as his next meal and wasn’t letting up.

Finally thinking to use her magic, Amber focused on her magic thrumming beneath her skin like a dull electric current and willed a burst of it outward. She imagined it like wisps of swirling blue smoke, even though her magic was invisible even to her. She pictured it forming two hands that scooped up either creature, and just like that, the pair was quickly lifted from the ground just before Tom attempted to seek safety under the bed again. The lack of gravity’s pull startled both animals enough that Amber was able to run over and grab Tom. She tucked him under one arm and used her free hand to detach the crazed lion. Once her focus shifted, the spell was broken, and the lion was newly possessed by the desire to rend flesh from bones.

Amber extracted the lion—a tuft of white-and-orange fur clutched in its tiny jaws—then tossed Tom onto the bed. He hit the fluffy comforter with all four paws, hissed once more for good measure, and zipped to the floor and underneath the bed.

The lion wiggled frantically in Amber’s grasp, all the while attempting to spit out the fur so its mouth was free to attack her cat. It clearly had no desire to go after her despite the grip she had on it; it only had beady little eyes for Tom. The thing was surprisingly hard to hold onto, keeping her so focused on not dropping it—this one had taken a lot of work to craft—that her mind was unable to conjure up a helpful spell.

Her magic still thrashed beneath her skin, though. It always got riled up in highly emotional situations.

Amber yelped and let out a string of colorful curses as the lion sank its fangs into her thumb. It didn’t break the skin, but the teeth clamped down on her nail so hard, her vision swam for a moment. Without thinking, she shook out her hand, desperate to knock the thing loose, and it went flying off her finger. Some of her pent-up magic was involuntarily released at the same time, causing a gust of wind to help free her of the tiny beast. The lion smacked into a wall with such force, it shattered on impact into several large shards of painted plastic.

Amber groaned loudly and tipped her head back to stare at the ceiling. Her thumb throbbed in time with her racing heart. Her magic had calmed down, at least.

She didn’t need this. Not today.

The lion had been a special request from a woman who was throwing a circus-themed birthday party for her six-year-old son.

Next week.

She really needed to perfect the design soon. What would happen if the same thing happened at a party full of little kids? She supposed the children might get a kick out of it, but she couldn’t imagine the parents would once the toy started biting people. No one in town knew that Amber’s infamous toys were animated by magic; they all thought she was merely an engineering genius.

Amber walked over to the small pile of lion pieces. A few of the plastic bits were reduced to tiny shards. And one of the delicate plastic discs she’d infused with a movement spell had snapped clean in half.

Why hadn’t she kept her wits about her so she could perform a deactivation spell?

Now she’d need to start over.

She glanced about her studio apartment and winced at the mess. Plastic pieces lay in heaps on her dining table. Boxes of completed cats sat in a corner, set aside for the Here and Meow Festival. A series of half-crafted animals littered her coffee table along with sheets of paper covered in scrawled spells. Most of the words were scratched out, marking them as defective. Her personal grimoire lay open next to an eyeless flamingo.

The toys had completely taken over her apartment.

She had more room to work downstairs in her shop—plus it would give Tom a break—but ever since Chief Owen Brown had seen her using her magic two weeks ago, she’d been too anxious to use said magic where she might be caught in the act. She and the chief had worked together to solve the murder of Amber’s friend Melanie Cole; Amber and the chief had finally started to form something close to a friendship. But that had all fallen apart now. She suspected her anxiety over the whole thing was making her magic glitch.

She’d replayed the scene countless times over the past two weeks—the way he’d been standing outside the Quirky Whisker, eyes wide, just moments after she’d used her magic to float an ill-behaved toy cat back to a table. How he’d hurried away.

She hadn’t seen or heard from him since, but she could only guess what he was thinking. He’d known for a while that something about her was off. He’d linked her to dozens of odd incidents around town but hadn’t been able to come up with an explanation. When he’d nervously posed the possibility that she was psychic, she hadn’t corrected him. She’d needed his help to solve the mystery of her friend Melanie’s death; he could have thought whatever he wanted.

Once he had something concrete to hold onto—an explanation for her odd behavior and even odder store—he’d started to treat her better. But now? Would the no-nonsense police chief be able to swallow the I’m a witch pill as easily as he’d accepted her supposed psychic ability?

There was precedence for police working with psychics. Witchcraft, however, was meant for the pages of fantasy novels, not real life.

She sighed to herself. Getting the lion finished was what was important here. Not what the chief thought of her. The townsfolk hadn’t shown up wielding pitchforks and torches, so she had to assume he was keeping his discovery to himself. Assuming he even had a word for this discovery. The Edgehill rumor mill would have been working overtime if news got out that odd Amber Blackwood was a witch.

At the very least, Amber could paint the plastic pieces needed for the new lion toy—she couldn’t get in trouble doing that.

But first …

Lying on her stomach, Amber lifted the dust ruffle to peek underneath. Come on out, Tom, she cooed, reaching an arm out toward him.

He scooted back so he was just out of range of her fingertips.

I’m sorry, she said. I really am.

The orange-and-white tabby remained unconvinced.

Amber sighed. She’d already fed him and Alley breakfast, but she knew food was the only way to get back into his good graces. She got to her feet. Fine. You win.

She walked the few feet to the cats’ little nook and grabbed a bag of treats. Giving it a crinkle, she looked over her shoulder to see a pink nose peeking out from underneath the dust ruffle.

Alley lay curled on the bench seat now, but a black ear swiveled in the direction of the crinkling. Though Alley hadn’t lifted a paw to aid her brother during his time of torment, she would no doubt happily gobble down treats she hadn’t earned.

Once Amber opened the bag, Tom scurried out of his hiding place and sat obediently in front of his bowl. A pink tongue snaked out in anticipation. Amber wondered if Tom had been a dog in a past life.

She plinked three treats into either bowl and Tom dove for them. Alley soundlessly hopped to the floor to eat hers before Tom did. After he’d licked the bowl clean, he stood and rubbed against Amber’s ankles, purr cranked up to level ten. All was forgiven.

Now to work on this dang lion toy …

Collecting her supplies in a tote bag, she called a goodbye to her cats and made her way down the stairs from her apartment to the shop below. The store wasn’t due to open for another half hour, so she would have some quiet to herself to get the painting done.

Though the Here and Meow Festival wasn’t until May—three months from now—Edgehill was experiencing a rare uptick in winter tourists. Posters advertising a trial run of the junior fashion show were plastered all over town. The adult fashion show had been a staple of the festival for years, but this year, there would be a junior version as well. The trial run for the juniors was scheduled for later in the month. Amber didn’t have the faintest clue why people were so invested in the event, but she was glad the young designers were getting recognition for their talent. Amber wondered how Sydney Sadler, a participant in the show, was faring in the wake of her mother’s arrest. Sydney’s mother, Whitney Sadler, had teamed up with another Edgehill resident, Susie Paulson, to discreetly poison Melanie. While Susie had only wanted to make Melanie sick so Susie could take Melanie’s position as the head of the Here and Meow Festival, Whitney had wanted Melanie gone for good.

Amber hoped the looming fashion show was keeping Sydney busy and distracted.

Personally, Amber was being kept busy by the stack of animated toy orders waiting for her. Willow, her younger sister, was due to join her in a month or so to help—it couldn’t happen soon enough. Amber needed all the extra help she could get.

Once downstairs, Amber turned on the hot plate in her little cooking alcove so she could make herself a cup of her signature hot chocolate. Then she laid out her supplies on the worn wooden counter that ran along the back of the shop, the wall of dried herbs, teas, and tinctures stored behind labeled drawers taking up the space behind her.

Fifteen minutes later, mug of steaming chocolate nearby, Amber was absorbed in the task of painting the lion’s long, thin tail. The creature was a jumble of white pieces at the moment; she always made extra parts just in case. A small pile of miniature talons here, the curved haunch of a leg there. The round, pale face of the lion stared at nothing from its place on the countertop, its eyes two small, empty holes.

Amber had just brushed on the last touch of muted yellow onto the elongated, oval-shaped tip of the tail when she heard the unmistakable click of her front door unlocking.

She froze, paintbrush gripped in one hand, eyes wide. No one in town had keys to her shop. Had the chief decided he could no longer allow a witch in his town and had come to cart her away?

The rational part of her mind told her that if he really had come after her with that pitchfork-wielding mob, they would kick the door in, not quietly pick the lock.

She glanced up just as the door swung open. The person who walked through was not the six-foot-tall police chief, but a much smaller older woman.

Amber grinned. Aunt Gretchen!

Chapter 2

Amber carefully placed her painting supplies on the counter and then hurried around it and toward her aunt standing in the middle of the Quirky Whisker. She stood at five and a half feet, and had lost some weight since Amber had seen her nearly a year ago. Her aunt lived in Portland, Oregon now. Her brown hair was liberally streaked with gray—had she stopped dying it?—and her complexion was a bit pale. But her grin matched Amber’s.

When she pulled her aunt into a tight hug, the gesture was returned with a laugh.

Easy now, Aunt Gretchen said, chuckling as she patted Amber’s back, her head just below Amber’s chin. I’m an old lady with fragile bones.

Pah! said Amber, pulling away but holding onto the woman’s arms. Not that I’m not happy to see you, but what are you doing here? The Here and Meow is still months away.

Oh, I know, she said, but Willow will be here soon, won’t she? I was anxious to see my girls before things got too hectic here.

Too hectic? Aunt Gretchen always showed up during the peak of the festival, never before. She said she preferred it that way. So why was she here three months early?

Amber squinted at her aunt. Gretchen had never been a huge fan of traveling, which she did less and less of as she got older. Spill. I have ways of making you talk if you won’t do so willingly.

Gretchen’s mouth quirked up, though Amber wasn’t sure why. It hadn’t been an idle threat. I’ve missed you, my sweet girl, she said, patting Amber’s cheek with her cool hand.

Amber’s eyes narrowed further.

With a sigh, Gretchen said, I haven’t been feeling well lately and I wanted the comfort of my family. Is that sufficient?

Something twinged in Amber’s chest. Oh no. What’s wrong? You shouldn’t be traveling if you’re not feeling well. I would have come to you. Do you want to come upstairs? I can make you some tea, or—

Gretchen huffed and Amber snapped her mouth shut. That right there is why I didn’t mention anything sooner. You’re such a worrier! If I’d told you I felt ill, you would have dropped everything to come see me. I don’t want to upend your life.

You upended yours when Mom and Dad died, Amber said. Coming to look after you is the least I could do. Chicken soup, tinctures—

Gretchen wrinkled her nose. Your tinctures were always rather … questionable.

Amber gasped. "They’re not all bad."

Though if Amber was being honest with herself, especially in the wake of Melanie’s death, she wondered if she should not only throw out her current supply of tinctures but stop trying to make them altogether. Most of what Amber knew of magic had been self-taught. There had been much trial and error over the years—often more error than trial.

She and Willow had never received the full witch education from their parents that they’d been promised once they graduated high school. But their parents had died before that happened.

Their grimoires had gone up in smoke with the rest of their house, further distancing Amber from her witch heritage. When it came to her magic, she always felt as if she was floundering in the dark. She didn’t have Willow’s knack for glamour spells. She wasn’t a skilled kitchen witch like her aunt. Gretchen claimed her own talents didn’t stretch beyond herbs and tinctures—so if Amber and Willow wanted to test their magic beyond that, they’d be on their own.

Amber’s best spells, as far as she could tell, were the ones that came from contact with a person or object. She needed connection, something that tied her to her subject. Tinctures and potions were always a step away. And, when Amber used them, something often backfired.

Perhaps crafting her animated toys was as far as Amber’s magic would ever take her. She grimaced slightly as she thought about the possessed lion incident. Not every witch could be a master at the craft, just as every person couldn’t be a master musician.

The reality of it still stung.

If it makes you feel any better, Gretchen said, clearly reading the distress on Amber’s face, Annabelle was rather awful at tinctures too.

Amber stilled.

Annabelle.

Amber and Willow’s mother. Gretchen spoke so little of her deceased brother and sister-in-law that sometimes Amber wondered if the woman had entirely purged them from her memory.

Is that right? Amber asked, trying to keep her tone light and nonchalant. Whenever Gretchen did speak of Amber’s parents, Amber feared she’d say the wrong thing and Gretchen would clam up again.

Oh, yes, Gretchen said, a small wistful smile on her face. Annabelle tried as she might to be a kitchen witch like her mother, but it never seemed to work out for her. Once, when she was a young girl, she crafted a sleep tonic for Miles—your grandfather—since he’d been complaining about terrible nightmares. She wanted it to be a surprise though, sure she’d be able to prove to everyone once and for all that she was just as good at tinctures as her mother. So, one night, she slipped the tonic into Miles’ nightly glass of milk.

Amber, mouth slightly agape, softly asked, And did it work?

Like a charm! Gretchen said.

Amber grinned.

Problem was, he didn’t wake for three days!

Oh my God!

Mmhmm. Poor Annabelle was too scared to tell anyone what she’d done and kept quiet for nearly a full day, terrified she’d killed her own father. Your grandmother Ivy found her hiding in a closet in the attic and soon figured out what had happened.

Amber winced. Was he okay?

Oh, sure. Eventually, Gretchen said. It became a running joke in the family that one could never leave an unattended drink lying around, or else Belle would slip something into it to make you sleep for a week. Your father loved that story. She made the mistake of sharing it with him when they first started dating. He told that story to everyone he could.

Amber frowned, wondering why she’d never heard it. But her parents had been so close-lipped about their magic for most of Amber’s life. Willow and Amber grew up knowing they were witches, and knowing their parents were, but it was to always, always be a secret.

Amber knew they’d moved to Edgehill when she was very young specifically because it was a town not inhabited by other witches. They’d moved several times before Edgehill became their permanent home. They wanted a normal life, they said. For themselves and their daughters.

The only family Amber had met, aside from Aunt Gretchen on the Blackwood side of the family, had been Uncle Raphael and his son Edgar—the Henbanes. They’d moved to Edgehill when Amber was twelve. Amber remembered her mother being furious that her older, estranged brother had put down roots in the same, remote town as she had. Amber hadn’t seen her uncle and cousin much, even though they’d both lived in Edgehill for years. They’d moved to the outskirts shortly after Edgar’s mom, Kathleen, passed away. Even at twelve, Amber had worried about the two grieving men alone in their house out in the middle of nowhere.

She’d wanted to get to know her uncle and cousin. Two more witches to share experiences with, especially with Edgar, who was only a few years older than she was. She’d wondered, if she could only find a way to his house, if he could teach her about her magic. Willow had so obviously taken after the Blackwood side of the family. Maybe Amber was more like a Henbane—like her mother, uncle, and cousin.

Any time Amber or her sister had tried to ask more about their powers, their parents would say they needed to wait until they were eighteen. Once they were adults, they’d promised, the girls would truly learn what it meant to be witches.

Then their parents had died, taking their secrets with them. Uncle Raphael abruptly moved away. Edgar suffered a psychotic break.

A frown tugged at the corners of Amber’s mouth. I wish we’d had more time with them.

Gretchen sighed. I know, dear. Me too.

A somber quiet settled over them. Amber wondered if Gretchen was lost in her own memories of Annabelle and Theodore Blackwood.

Amber, deep in her gut, believed something sinister had happened the night her parents died. It hadn’t been started by an electrical glitch, no matter what the firefighters said. How had two able-bodied, healthy adults not smelled the smoke? What little had been found of their remains had been located mostly in their beds. Had they lain side by side, sleeping peacefully while their house went up in flames around them?

Amber didn’t buy it.

"Maybe they had a nightcap or two since you girls were having a sleepover at your friend’s house and they slept more soundly than usual," a neighbor had offered to a sobbing Amber as she stood outside the blackened remains of her house.

Willow had sunk to the sidewalk beside Amber then, her back to their home, staring off into space.

Fire trucks had lined Ocicat Lane, red lights bouncing off the walls of nearby houses, all left untouched by the fire. None of the neighbors had heard or seen anything unusual, though a few claimed the flames had burned blue. But none could say when the fire started. No one had noticed anything was wrong until it was too late to save the house or her parents.

Nothing about it had felt right to Amber. Not then, and not now.

You have that look on your face again, little mouse, Aunt Gretchen said now.

Amber pulled herself out of her thoughts. What look?

That look that means you’re thinking about things that will never bring you any peace.

Don’t you wonder what happened that night?

Something flashed across her aunt’s face. Anger, maybe. Then it was gone. Why don’t you help me find a place to stay, hmm?

Subject change, as usual. You don’t want to stay here?

You live in a shoebox.

It’s quaint!

It’s tiny, she said. A tiny apartment for my little mouse. Go on. Find me a suitable place. The Manx, maybe? Something with a king-size bed and a bathtub with power jets.

Amber tried not to let her disappointment show. She should have known better, though. Aunt Gretchen didn’t talk about that night. Amber had tried countless times in the days and months after the fire, when her aunt had swooped in from Portland to become the new guardian for the Blackwood girls. Amber had poked and prodded at Gretchen’s defenses, hoping the woman would crack under pressure. Amber had been sure Gretchen knew more about the fire than she let on. They would get into horrific screaming matches about it—potted plants and chairs and knickknacks tossed around the room by unseen hands as Amber’s magic rebelled right along with her.

Get out of that head of yours, said Aunt Gretchen from off to Amber’s right.

She snapped out of her memories once again to find her aunt had moved to the other end of the store and now stood at the base of the stairs, holding firm to the straps of her overnight bag. Amber figured she had ten minutes tops to get her aunt situated upstairs before she would need to open the store. She’d have to call the Manx on her lunch break.

Amber hurried over to her waiting aunt, taking her bag from her. How long are you here for?

Time will tell.

After a long pause, Amber staring down her nose at her aunt, she said, Are you sure you’re all right? You look a little rundown and pale.

You have the bedside manner of a rotting toadstool, she said, huffing. I’m here for family. That’s all.

When they were halfway up the stairs, Gretchen said, Speaking of, when you have some free time, maybe we should pay Edgar a visit.

Amber nearly missed the next step and had to place a steadying hand on the wall beside her to keep herself from stumbling. Then she stopped altogether, continuing to watch the slowly ascending figure of her aunt. Why?

I’m here for family, remember? He’s family, too. Even if only by marriage.

Amber hadn’t seen Edgar in years. After the fire, he’d told anyone who would listen that they hadn’t burned in their beds while they slept, but that they’d been trapped inside.

She’d often wondered if trapped hadn’t meant that they’d been stuck under the debris of a collapsed roof, or that objects had obstructed their paths to doors or windows or hallways, but that someone had trapped them inside. Amber’s gut had always told her another witch was behind it. Someone from her parents’ past, maybe. Someone tied to the reason why a family of four witches purposefully ended up in a town devoid of magic.

A Penhallow, her gut said. Only a Penhallow would do something so terrible.

She’d tried to ask

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  • (4/5)
    Amber has always known there was more to her parents' deaths than a random accident. When her Aunt Gretchen shows up unexpectedly with a story about how a member of a cursed witch clan is heading to Edgehill specifically seeking Amber, Amber begins to suspect that this is no coincidence and Aunt Gretchen knows a lot more than she's claimed in the past.Pawsitively Poisonous is the second in the Witch of Edgehill series by Melissa Erin Jackson. I am quite enjoying these paranormal mysteries! It was great meeting more of Amber's family and seeing the differences in their magic. Even though there is a murder this book is much more about the various witch clans and their flavors of magic than the actual murder itself. The story was a lot of fun though I did feel bad for Amber at the end and the fact that events have reaffirmed she can never have a normal life. Here's hoping we continue to see more of her family in the future so Amber isn't so isolated.
  • (4/5)
    In Pawsitively Cursed, Amber Blackwood is a witch who has been through much heartache, including the most recent loss of her friend, Melanie. Despite being a lifelong resident of Edgehill, Amber has very little in the way of close friendships. This was a deliberate choice on Amber’s part because she has never fully recovered from the loss of her parents. They died in a tragic fire but Amber has always believed that there was more to the story, despite everyone’s insistence that it was just an unfortunate event. Although she was never able to prove anything, even with her aunt Gretchen telling her to let it go, Amber never gave up looking for clues about what truly happened that night.Fast forward fourteen years and Gretchen shows up unexpectedly and summons Amber’s sister, Willow, to come to Edgehill. The excuse was that they were going to be working together at Amber’s store, The Quirky Whisker, for the upcoming trial run junior fashion show, an event leading up to the Here and Meow festival that takes place every year. It is clear to Amber than something is happening with her Aunt but she is just thrilled to have her family near. When unexplained events start to take place, Gretchen comes clean about the fact that there was a witch from the Penhallow clan who was coming for Amber. Not only does this revelation lead to a revealing of many secrets that have been kept from Amber but it also creates a rift in Amber’s heart where her aunt is concerned.I enjoyed reading Pawsitively Poisonous but I think I enjoyed reading Pawsitively Cursed even more! It was nice to be back in Edgehill with its quirky residents and their love for everything feline but it was the mystery of what occurred with Amber’s family that kept my eyes glued to the pages of this book. I loved, loved, loved, how Amber was taunted in this book by the villain. So creepy! The uncovering of that really took place fourteen years ago was incredibly sad and there is still much to learn from that night! There was some character growth for Amber as well as a little romance angle that may or may not come to fruition. It was just nice to see Amber peeking out from the shell that she keeps to distance herself from relationships. Overall, Pawsitively Cursed was a fun cozy mystery fantasy that has me excited about what is to come in the next book in this series!This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Melissa Erin Jackson. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.